Botany iPredict update – Nick Smith backing Maggie Barry

Last night saw the first meet the candidates meeting take place. Feedback received via the tipline was that Jami-lee Ross was the best on the night, with Aaron Bhatnagar showing a little nervous-ness and Maggie Barry showing her lack of political nous. Lack of a microphone undid some of the speakers, and Maggie Barry’s claim to have had an epiphany when listening to John Key’s Pike River speech sounded just desperate. Looking forward to seeing improvement across the board on Tuesday night at the next meeting. Never fear dear readers The Whale will be there via his spies, despite the efforts of the hierarchy to keep me out.

Jami-Lee Ross to win selec­tion: Price: $0.60 Probability: 59.9%

Mag­gie Barry to win selec­tion: Price: $0.37 Probability: 37.0%

Aaron Bhat­na­gar to win selec­tion: Price: $0.04 Probability: 4.3%

Ed Saafi to win selec­tion: Price: $0.01 Probability: 1.1%

Dar­ren Gedge to win selec­tion: Price: $0.01 Probability: 1.1%

In line with informing investors of who is behind who, it can now be confirmed that regional power-broker Hamish Price is the numbers man for Aaron Bhatnagar. It looks like Lucy, Jami-lee’s wife is assisting his campaign, which is usual for his method of campaigning. No other regional power-broker was in evidence last night, though Tamaki MP Allan Peachey was there as the only MP in attendance, probably checking over Aaron as a potential challenger for his seat.

Again, in line with informing investors of who is backing who, The Whale can now confirm that the main backer of Maggie Barry is Nick Smith. Nick Smith and his wife dined with Maggie Barry and her partner and their strategist Margaret Voyce at Sky City on Thursday night. During the meal Maggie Barry was seen to be taking copious notes as Nick Smith held court. Nick Smith was in Auckland ostensibly to attend the William Hague function, even though there is no direct portfolio interests for him being there. He was also the only MP to take a partner along, even though the invites didn’t include partners. One presumes the taxpayer picked up his flights from Nelson and accommodation to assist Maggie Barry in her campaign. Nick Smith, of course, is a BlueGreen as is Margaret Voyce, one of about 50 members out of 28,000 that have joined the BlueGreens.

Delegates don’t like, generally, celebrities, and they don’t like even more celebrities with endorsements from out of town senior MPs. This will be a strategic error on Nick Smith’s part and on Maggie Barry’s part. Delegates don’t like sitting MPs meddling in selections at a local level, especially when those meddling MPs are from Nelson.


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

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